Note: The problems at Singing River Health System (Jackson
County) continue to mount. The Sun-Herald has been breaking stories
about the troubled hospital system since November. It is important to
start from the beginning, so JJ is posting stories about this fiasco
starting from several weeks ago, to give readers the history of this
Questions were raised about the residency of two members of the Board of Trustees for the Singing River Health System. The Sun-Herald reported in December and January that two trustees did not live in Jackson County as required by state law:
The Jackson County Board of Supervisors is trying to determine whether Morris Strickland needs to be replaced on the embattled Singing River Health System Board of Trustees because he has moved to Biloxi.
Troy Ross, president of the Board of Supervisors, said the county attorney's office asked him a few days ago to find out if Strickland had moved. A tipster left a comment on the Gulf Coast blog slabbed.org to say Strickland is living in Biloxi. The tip checks out. His primary residence is in the upper-crust waterfront community of Destiny Plantation in the Biloxi city limits, according to Harrison County tax records.
Tax records in Jackson County show he last claimed a primary residence there in 2012.
State law says members of the county-owned hospital system board must be "adult legal residents" of the county.
"If someone doesn't live inside the county and doesn't meet the legal stipulations
to be appointed to a board, then, of course, I think we need to appoint someone to take their place," Ross said. "You've got to meet the legal requirements. We don't have another choice on that. You've got to live in Jackson County, unless there's some rule that says if you move during the period, you can serve out the rest of the term, then I would think you would need to be replaced by a Jackson County resident.".... Rest of article.
However, Mr. Strickland was not the only trustee questioned over his residency. The Sun-Herald reported another trustee lived outside of Jackson County:
A Singing River Health System trustee is claiming homestead exemption in two states, which appears to be at odds with tax laws in both states.
Allen Cronier has a homestead exemption on State Line Road property in Moss Point, according to Jackson County records. He also has a homestead exemption on a Mobile County home on Fawn Circle in Grand Bay, Ala., according to tax records.
Tax laws in both states require that a home be the primary residence in order to receive the exemption. Mississippi law says members of a county-owned hospital board must live in the county were the hospital is located. SRHS operates two hospitals in Jackson County. One health system trustee already has been forced to resign after tax records revealed he lives in Biloxi, not Jackson County.
County Supervisor Barry Cumbest appointed Cronier to the board and is satisfied the trustee lives in Jackson County. Cumbest said Cronier has done an exceptional job as trustee and recently voted against termination of the failed employee pension plan. Cumbest said Cronier is willing to consider options other than termination for the underfunded retirement plan.
Cumbest said he had been told about Cronier's double homestead exemption. "What I do know for sure is that he is filing homestead in Jackson County," Cumbest said. "If he has a problem in Alabama, that's for him to look at. It concerns me some, but what concerns me more is the hospital." Rest of article
Strickland resigned from the Board. Cronier has yet to do so.
Supes to Trustees: Get out.
Sun-Herald calls out Board of Supervisors
Singing River Saga Dec. 15: Supes make deal to see own records.
Singing River Saga Dec. 12: The court fights begin.
Singing River Saga Dec. 8: "Who knew what when" is the question.
Cartoon on Singing River
Singing River Saga, December 5: Judge freezes pension liquidation.
Adding more pieces to the Singing River puzzle
Singing River on December 3: Liquidate Pension Plan
Singing River Pension Disaster: No excuses
Singing River audit
Singing River: 23 days cash on hand, Supes want to question MBMC CEO
What the hell was going on at Singing River?